There are few times that I have actually wished I could take a picture of an aroma, but this was one of them. Here is a story about a time when a bunch of simple ingredients-coconut, milk, flour, and brown butter-magically transformed into bread. But not just any bread, not only because this is mostly cake; you see, what results from those four ingredients happens to be one of the most multi-dimensional quick breads I have ever encountered. At once sweet, subtle, and slightly spicy, this bread isn’t overpowered by a single ingredient. Rather, you get a densely satisfying treat that can be spruced up (with salted butter and honey) or enjoyed solo.
It was really challenging for me not to try to make this recipe a little fancier with something more coconut-y, because I honestly could not figure out how it was going to meet my expectations. Judging from Deb’s pictures on Smitten Kitchen (the link can be found below with the recipe), though, I had an inkling it would be awesome.
Somehow, in the process of following Deb’s instructions for Bill Granger’s Coconut Bread, I found that the milk and flour and brown butter and coconut had melded into the most sinfully aromatic dough. Truthfully, my doubts were entirely vanquished about 25 minutes into the baking process, when I could smell cinnamon-kissed wafts of coconut air poofing out of the oven.
Brown Butter Coconut Bread
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
2 large eggs
1 ¼ cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups coconut flakes
3/4 cup high-quality semisweet chocolate chunks (optional)
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and browned
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add sugar, coconut, and chocolate, if using, and stir to mix. Make a well in the center, and pour in the egg mixture, then stir wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Add butter, and stir until just smooth—be careful not to over mix. Butter and flour a 9 x 5” loaf pan, or coat it with nonstick spray. Spread batter in pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, between 50-60 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.